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The Big Lift (1950)

 -  Drama | War  -  26 April 1950 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 832 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 2 critic

Experiences of two Air Force sergeants during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

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Title: The Big Lift (1950)

The Big Lift (1950) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough
...
MSgt. Henry 'Hank' Kowalski
Cornell Borchers ...
Frederica Burkhardt
Bruni Löbel ...
Gerda
O.E. Hasse ...
Stieber
Dante V. Morel ...
Himself (as Capt. Dante V. Morel)
John R. Mason ...
Himself (as Capt. John R. Mason)
Gail R. Plush ...
Himself (as Capt. Gail R. Plush)
Mack Blevins ...
Himself (as Capt. Mack Blevins)
William A. Stewart ...
Himself (as Capt. William A. Stewart)
Alfred L. Freiburger ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Alfred L. Freiburger)
Gerald Arons ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Gerald Arons)
James Wilson ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. James Wilson)
Richard A. Kellogg ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Richard A. Kellogg)
Roy R. Steele ...
Himself (as 1st Lt. Roy R. Steele)
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Storyline

In 1948, the Soviet Union blockades the Allied sectors of Berlin to bring the entire city under their control. A semi-documentary about the resulting Berlin Airlift gives way to stories of two fictitious U.S. Air Force participants: Sgt. Hank Kowalski, whose hatred of Germans proves resistant to change, and Sgt. Danny McCullough, whose pursuit of an attractive German war widow gives him a crash course in the seamy side of occupied Berlin. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Ruins came Hope and Despair

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es begann mit einem Kuß  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

Alfred L. Freiburger: [as they march between the honor guard toward the welcome ceremony] Fix your hat.
Sgt. 1st Class Danny MacCullough: I feel just as if you and I were getting married, lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the movie, the "Hollywood" stars (Clift, Douglas etc.), are not credited, however a panoramic coda does credit the principle military service members who portrayed themselves in the film. It shows them standing at attention in front of a C-54, with their names and ranks scrolling across. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Woman on the Run (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Vielleicht
(uncredited)
Written by Günter Neumann
Played by the band at the nightclub and sung by Cornell Borchers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Has a documentary feel to it.
17 May 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Montgomery Clift had made his screen debut in 1947 in The Search and in the short period of four years made some films considered now as classics. He was also in Red River. The Heiress, and A Place in the Sun. The Big Lift doesn't belong in that category.

Still it's an intriguing idea that George Seaton. With only five actors in the plot, have the rest of the film be actual army personnel and German civilians. And the amateur cast does fine playing themselves. I guess it saved a whole lot salary. It gives the movie a documentary feel to it.

Monty and Paul Douglas are two American GIs participating in The Berlin Airlift. This was America and it's allies Great Britain and France in a joint effort to airlift supplies into Berlin after Stalin closed off ground access to Berlin in an effort to force the other three occupying powers out of Berlin.

It was a great propaganda victory for the west at the beginning of the Cold War. Fed a hungry city at the same time calling Joe Stalin's bluff. One Harry Truman's best decisions as President, a win/win for sure.

The story involves Clift and Douglas and their interaction with some German civilians they hooked up with. Clift is a sensitive soul as he always is and Douglas is the rough hewn, but kindly type he usually is. They have differing views about the Germans from fighting them in the late War which was only five years old at the time The Big Lift was made.

Let us say that both of them learn something from their experiences by the time the film ends and the Berlin Airlift is officially over.

Not in the pantheon of great films for Clift and Douglas, but an interesting and in this case historical piece of cinema.


18 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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